“I never tired of looking out the window. I don’t think any astronaut ever has, or will. Every chance we have, we float over to see what’s changed since we last went round the Earth. There’s always something new to see because the planet itself is rotating, so each orbit takes us over different parts of it. Every crossing of the Pacific, every landfall, brings different weather and vegetation and lighting. And as the seasons change, sunlight, snow and new plant life creates new patterns the world over.”
(Chris Hadfield in the introduction to his book You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes)
I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective in the last few months.
My husband and I are trying to make a big life decision in the midst of what has not been the easiest of times. There are days where I feel surrounded by questions, frustrations and unanswered prayers. On the days that are the most trying (and there was one of those this very week) I feel as though I am slumped on the ground with pieces of jigsaw around me, none of which seem to fit together.
God what are you doing in this situation? Why are you silent? Why is this so difficult? Why has it gone on for so long? And why don’t any of these pieces seem to make sense?!
On those days I need to get some perspective, to see things from the heavens.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55
When I was a little girl, about 4 years old, I was out with my family one summers day. As I skipped along the curb in my red open-toed sandals, I tripped and fell, cutting my toe open. While I sat in a crumpled heap on the curb, crying like the sorry mess that I was, I looked up to see my Dad bending down to scoop me up and put me on his shoulders.
I remember very clearly that, although my foot hurt and my toe was still bleeding, although my cheeks were stained with my tears, knowing that I was in my Daddy’s arms meant I was safe. I could trust him for what came next.
Being lifted into the arms of our heavenly Father doesn’t make the questions go away. We can still sit with the same uncertainty, sometimes the same pain, illness, silence or longing. We don’t always get healing or answers or even cryptic signposts. But what we often get is the peace that comes with the perspective of our Daddy’s shoulders, to know that we are safe and that He is good and we can trust Him, even when we don’t understand.
The important thing to remember is to look up, to lift our hands to the One who’ll bend down to pick us up and carry us through. While we stay slumped on the floor our perspective is only that which surrounds us. The longer we stare at the question marks the more disheartened we become. Each day we have a choice; to sit in our crumpled heap or to lift our tear-stained faces to heaven and ask for His perspective.
Today I choose to look up. Remind me again tomorrow will you?